Get a Jump on Holiday Gift-Making

Posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | By Alycia Lang |
Photo Oct 02, 8 26 15 PMWe’ve all done it. Scrambling through cupboards wishing we hadn’t opened that last jar of apple jam or bottle of orange bitters. "It would have made the perfect gift!" you say, exasperated and empty-handed. This year think ahead and get going on DIY projects NOW to avoid that What-do-I get-Aunt-Louise? holiday conundrum. Apples, pears, grapes, persimmons, pomegranates, quinces are all in season and just begging to be turned into jams, shrubs, liqueurs. And don’t forget your veggies. Pickle beets, carrots, cauliflower and brussels sprouts and make hot sauce with whatever peppers are fresh! You will have a pantry full of delicious affordable gifts handmade with care and ready to go when the holidays (and houseguests) arrive. A bottle of limoncello is nice, but oh-so-much nicer alongside a mason jar cocktail shaker, perhaps with a favorite drink recipe included. We've put together some winning combinations - part DIY by you, part DIY for them.  

Here are a few DIY project ideas paired with a gift to encourage the recipient to carry on the DIY trend. Click over to Pinterest for many more!

  [caption id="attachment_7290" align="alignleft" width="150"] photo: Steamy Kitchen[/caption]

Homemade Fermented Sriracha paired with a

FARMcurious Fermenting Set 

Add a little heat to winter soups and stir-frys with fermented Asian hot sauce. Give it with a FARMcurious Fermenting set so they can make some of their own! Takes 7-10 days. Keeps for about 4 months.       [caption id="attachment_7265" align="alignleft" width="150"]Photo Oct 10, 6 11 57 PM photo: The Kitchn[/caption]

Hand Crafted Vanilla Extract paired with a

DOSE Pour Over Coffee Mason Jar Set

Exotic aroma and easy to make, vanilla goes well in everything from baked goods to your morning coffee. Give it with DOSE Pour Over Coffee Mason Jar Set and you can turn anyone into a morning person! Takes 1-2 months. Keeps for up to 1 year.       [caption id="attachment_7282" align="alignleft" width="150"]Apples photo: PunkDomestics[/caption]

Preserved Apples paired with a

Fresh Goat Cheese Making Kit

Green, red and even purple, apples are in season at your farmer's market now and incredibly versatile. Give it with Fresh Goat Cheese Making Kit and a bottle of sparkling wine to start the New Year off right! How long it takes depends on what you choose!       [caption id="attachment_7292" align="alignleft" width="150"] photo: Boozed+Infused[/caption]

Pear and Cranberry Liqueur paired with a

Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker

A few sips of liqueur crafted with seasonal fruits add to the festivity and flavor of the holidays. Give it with Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker and look forward to the cocktail party invitation! Takes 3 weeks. Keeps for 1 year.      

Photo Oct 15, 2 20 32 PMElderberry Wine paired with a

Backyard Fruit Wine-Making Kit

Fruity and old-timey, wines transform the best of the season into something truly amazing.

Give it with Backyard Fruit Wine Making Kit so you can share the fun with friends and compare recipes!

Takes 4-6 months. Keeps for several years.

Be sure to make enough so you have some to enjoy for yourself!

Happy food crafting!!